Gopalganj, Dec. 19: Police today said professional shooters from Uttar Pradesh were hired to kill Amod Tiwari, the husband of Imalia Manjha panchayat mukhiya (head) at Phulwaria in the district.
“Investigation is on but nobody has been arrested so far. We have launched a manhunt to arrest the assailants. The criminals who gunned down Tiwari were from Uttar Pradesh,” superintendent of police (Gopalganj) Nitasha Gudia said.
Police said the criminals, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, raided the chamber of block development officer Nizamuddin Ansari around 4.30pm yesterday and killed Tiwari, the husband of Poonam Tiwari, on the spot.
Sub-divisional police officeer Anand Pandey and deputy development commissioner Salahuddin visited Imalia to take stock of the situation in the village.
“At the time of the incident, six guards were on duty in the block office but they did not take any action. We have come to know that they were busy playing cards. Strict actions would be taken against them,” Pandey said.
Recalling the incident, Ansari said: “I was scared and remained seated in my chair for a couple of hours. I feared that the gunmen could have targeted me as well.”
Nizamuddin and Tiwari were having a discussion when the latter was attacked. Circle officer Asaruddin Ansari was in the chamber next to Nizamuddin at the time of the attack. Tiwari’s last rites were conducted today at the village in presence of his family members and neighbours.
Sources said the murder of Tiwari could be a fall-out of his rivalry with the gang of Raka Tiwari, a hardened criminal who was killed in an encounter with police. Raka’s associates had accused Tiwari of working as a spy of the police.
The sources said Tiwari, a contractor, was a named accused in the murder of two other contractors, Brajesh Kumar and Ashok Singh. The duo were killed on January 11, 2010, at Jadopur Chawk in the town area, the sources said. Tiwari was reportedly a close associate of Satish Pandey, a gangster who is at present lodged in Chhapra jail for his alleged involvement in at least 12 cases of murder, kidnap and robbery.